St Patrick’s Day Dublin: be Irish for a day or four
As the national holiday celebrated in more countries around the world than any other, St Patrick’s Day is the one day when everyone wants to be Irish…
..Except that celebrating the very best of Irish and international talent takes more than a single day back in the old country, which is why this year’s St Patrick’s Festival takes place over four days from Saturday 14 to Tuesday 17 March.
Dublin’s 2016 festival, the premier St Patrick’s Day event on the island, promises a major Irish shindig for all ages, with music, cultural treats, comedy, sport, dance, indoor and outdoor performances, many free attractions and the spectacle that is the Grand Parade.
Kicking things off on Saturday 12 March is the Festival Treasure Hunt, a free, fun-filled and novel trail through a collection of Dublin landmark buildings and venues and a great way for all ages to discover the Fair City.
Walking tours, street performances and a Céilí House gala concert of the best of traditional music, song and dance will all also get the festival ball rolling.
The next day, the Festival Big Day Out takes centre stage. Set in Georgian Dublin, this family event will be bursting with colour, street performances, theatrics, Irish language events, workshops, fun zones, music and open air shows.
And celebrating Dublin as a city rich in literature, a UNESCO children’s event will be part of Festival Big Day Out, and will feature the book Danger is Everywhere by top Irish comedian, author, musician, actor and playwright, David O’Doherty.
On Monday 14 March the Festival Céilí will be the highlight as beginner and expert alike lace up their dancing shoes and join in the fun at a mass outdoor celebration of traditional Irish dance at St Stephen’s Green.
The main event, the St Patrick’s Festival Parade, gets underway on Thursday 17 March and the fantastical creations and thrilling performances of Ireland’s leading pageant companies will bring this year’s theme, ‘Celebrate Now’, to life on the streets of Dublin.
Bands and music ensembles from around the world including Mexico, USA, Germany and Ireland will provide the score for the gigantic parade as it journeys past some of the most famous and culturally significant locations in the city.
Festival CEO, Susan Kirby says: “St Patrick’s Festival prides itself on a continued commitment to artistic excellence. The year’s four-day programme will embrace significant happenings in the Irish cultural calendar including Irish Design 2016 and Yeats 2016 as inspiration for the world-class series of events.”
The full festival programme will be announced on 17 February, but other highlights definitely involve a Céilí House Live in Concert at the National Concert Hall, a festival 5 km road race, daily tours, music and street performances, and the vivid visual backdrop of the ‘Greening the City’ lighting display.
This spectacle illuminates not only Ireland’s key landmarks in green each year, but also iconic buildings and attractions around the world.
World attractions that have ‘greened’ in the past include The Pyramids of Egypt, The Great Wall of China, The London Eye, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Table Mountain in South Africa and many more.
Tourism Ireland will once again be working with international global icons to help the world ‘go green’ for St Patrick’s Day.
The 2016 list will be announced in the coming days.